Stop multi-family uses under CFA in Horry

Horry Planning Commission and Council

84205217-67dc-418a-bd47-e436ca5a2f03

The allowances provided for multi family units under CFA allow for projects to be developed well beyond their original scale and intent.  Developers are using this loophole to develop higher density and smaller lot developments when CFA should be limited to 1 unit per ½ acre.


Conditional uses under CFA must be amended to remove multi family units from this zoning district.  Developers should be held to the 1 unit per ½ acre to ensure proposals will have a lower impact on future land use.




Petition by
April O'Leary
Conway, South Carolina

To: Horry Planning Commission and Council
From: [Your Name]

To: Horry County Planning Commision and Horry County Council

From: Horry County Rising

In 2000, property owners could determine and request their specific- zoning which undermined any future comprehensive plans and efforts. Many of these changes allowed for parcels be deemed FA and CFA zoning classification which allows for too many permitted uses. This large-scale "green card" like system is considered "unfavorable to sensibly plan for explosive population growth" (Imagine 2040 Draft). In some cases, FA and CFA parcels are located in areas that currently flood or contain sensitive natural buffers with highly permeable forests, wetlands, vegetation or soil that absorbs rainfall and slows runoff to nearby streams and swamps which decreases flood risk.

Under CFA, multi family units are permitted as a conditional use and the developers are using this conditional use as a loophole and in some cases as an ultimatum. Typically when a parcel is zoned CFA and the developer is requesting to rezone to another classification like SF10, they warn if they are unable to get their rezoning request approved- they are well within their rights to develop multi family units like apartments or condos. In other words, they are threatening to build apartments/ condos, if the commission/ council does not allow them the higher density smaller lot single family units. Right now under CFA, they can do single family housing in ½ acre lots which is lower in density and land disturbance.

Multi family units is an intense land use. Developers can space the apartments out and develop 3 units per gross acre. So they are using the entire site to calculate the density, not just the area they are putting the apartments in. By using the whole site and spreading the apartments out, they end up regrading and filling the whole site in and paving half of it with parking lots. It's a huge land disturbance but most developers don’t want to build multi family. There’s no market for apartments and condos but there is a market for single family units and developers are threatening to build apartments in order to get more units and lots in areas already crowded, at high risk for flooding, onto roads that are already at capacity and in rural communities uncharacteristic of their surroundings (which both comp plans highly discourage).

But don’t just take my word for it. Look at the amendment that was written and proposed by planning staff in April. According to the staffs’ recommendations, the allowances provided for multi family units under CFA allow for projects to be developed well beyond their original scale and intent. They even state how the developers are using this loophole to develop higher density and smaller lot developments when CFA should be limited to 1 unit per ½ acre.

Please, amend the conditional uses under CFA and remove this loophole for good, remove multi family units from the CFA zoning district. Stop permitting multifamily uses under CFA. There’s only a handful of these in the county that were developed prior to zoning. If we remove multifamily from the CFA zoning district we will hold developers to 1 unit per ½ acre which will have a lower impact on future land uses.

​Respectfully,